20th Century Fox | Viral trailers for Prometheus feature David the android
November 26, 2012
Wikipedia | About the film: Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott. The story is set in the late 21st century and centers on the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered among the artifacts of several ancient Earth cultures. The crew, seeking the origins of humanity, arrive on a distant world and discover a threat that could cause the extinction of the human race.
Development of the film began in the early 2000s as a fifth installment in the Alien franchise. Scott and director James Cameron developed ideas for a film that would serve as a prequel to Scott’s 1979 science fiction horror film Alien. In late 2010, Lindelof joined the project to rewrite Spaihts’s script, and he and Scott developed a story that precedes the story of Alien but is not directly connected to that franchise. According to Scott, although the film shares “strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak”, and takes place in the same universe, Prometheus explores its own mythology and ideas.
A viral marketing campaign began on February 28, 2012, with the release of a video featuring a speech by Pearce, in character as Peter Weyland, about his vision for the future. Set in 2023, the video presents a futuristic vision of a TED conference, an annual technology and design event held in Long Beach, California. The segment was conceived and designed by Scott and Lindelof, and directed by Scott’s son, Luke. The production was made in collaboration with, and made available through TED because Lindelof wanted to introduce new audiences to the conference itself. Lindelof said that the scene takes place in a futuristic stadium because “a guy like Peter Weyland — whose ego is just massive, and the ideas that he’s advancing are nothing short of hubris — that he’d basically say to TED, ‘If you want me to give a talk, I’m giving it in Wembley Stadium.’”
TED community director Tom Rielly helped the film’s producers gain approval for the use of the TED brand, which had not previously been used for promotional purposes. Rielly was involved in designing the 2023 conference, and said that the association generated millions of unique visits to the TED website. The video’s release was accompanied by a fictional TED blog about the 2023 conference and a tie-in website for the fictional Weyland Corporation.
On March 6, 2012, the Weyland website was updated to allow visitors to invest in the company as part of a game, which would reveal new Prometheus media. During the 2012 WonderCon, attendees at the film’s panel were given Weyland Corporation business cards that directed them to a website and telephone number. After calling the number, the caller was sent a text message from Weyland Corporation that linked them to a video that was presented as an advertisement for the “David 8″ android, narrated by Fassbender.
An extended version of the video, released on April 17, 2012, lists the android’s features, including its ability to seamlessly replicate human emotions without the restrictions of ethics or distress. A full page “David 8″ advertisement was placed in The Wall Street Journal; a Twitter account operated by a David8, that allowed Twitter users to ask the character questions, was included. A partnership with Verizon FiOS was launched, offering a virtual tour of the Prometheus spaceship.
Another video, “Quiet Eye”, starring Rapace as Shaw, was released on May 16, 2012, and debuted on the Verizon FIOS Facebook page.
In a telephone call monitored by Yutani, a fictional company from the Alien series, Shaw requests Weyland’s aid to seek out alien life. In France, the Saint-Martin ghost train station was converted to resemble alien architecture from the film, and was visible to passing commuters. The campaign continued after the film’s release with a website that was listed during the film’s end credits.
The site referenced the philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, and featured a video of Weyland, who quotes from the book. Another video followed in September 2012, featuring Elba’s Captain Janek preparing for a mission.
At the May 2012 Digital Hollywood conference, Lindelof said that the videos originated from the question of the film’s status as an Alien prequel. It was decided that creating videos with the film’s stars would generate more interest than any commentary about its connection to the Alien films. He also said that the videos needed to be cool enough to justify their existence, but not so important that their absence from the final film would be an issue for audiences.
Video Source: 20th Century Fox